Like books, movies can also be a good source of inspiration for entrepreneurs. As a matter of fact, there is no lack of people who constantly look forward to draw entrepreneurial inspiration from the movies, whether based on true events or entirely fictional.
For such entrepreneurs, these 10 movies can serve as a good source to stay motivated and relentlessly work towards achieving their goal, whether it is to become rich, become more powerful, bring change in the world, or create great things.
Pursuit of Happyness (2006)
Based on the life of American entrepreneur Chris Garner (portrayed by Will Smith), the movie shows his struggle with homelessness through early 80s while raising his toddler son. Chris worked hard and overtimed, tried everything in his power to be a good example to his son, and later went on to open a stock brokerage firm of his own.
Pursuit of Happyness depicts the power of perseverance and inspires us to never-ever give up, no matter how difficult and unfavorable the conditions seem.
Social Network (2010)
Executed under the brilliant direction of David Fincher with some captivating background score, the movie shows how young Mark Zuckerberg with his Harvard dorm-mates created world’s most popular social network, Facebook. But due to some careless decisions and somewhat unethical business execution, he lost his best friend (Eduardo Saverin), millions of dollars under couple of lawsuits, and end up being looking as the bad guy.
Besides inspiring to build something great that people love, the movie also tells how things can turn ugly if not executed carefully on the business-end.
Jerry MaGuire (1996)
The movie is said to be partially inspired by the life of sports agent Leigh Steinberg. The protagonist Jerry McGuire is played by Tom Cruise, who after having a life-changing epiphany tried to convince the management how personal relationships should be put above money to provide better service to clients. But in the process, he lost his job and faced constant rejections on the professional front until he finally succeeded and proved his theory right.
The take away from this movie is simple, which is the epiphany itself:
Wall Street (1987)
Being an entrepreneur isn’t just about becoming rich, and no better movie can teach this lesson than Wall Street. The movie portrays the life of a young stockbroker Bud Fox, who is influenced by the motto ‘Greed is good’ of a dishonest corporate raider Gordon Gekko. To succeed, Fox is willing to do anything even if it is unethical and morally wrong.
The movie teaches us that while it is right & good to continuously work in your personal and corporate interests, selling yourself for the sake of money is not. And although controversial, many of Gordon Gekko’s statements are worth regarding.
Office Space (1999)
In this 1999 comedy, the protagonist Peter Gibbons is the perfect portrayal of a typical 9-to-5 cubical dweller, who hates his job. Things start to turn around when one day he decides to do something about his job, which is making his life miserable. He goes beyond his comfort zone to change things about the inefficient and monotonous office system he works in and ends up being promoted.
The movie tells us how we have a choice between either keep suffering or do something about it by leaving our usual comfort zone. Who knows, what great things may happen!
A must-watch for all the internet-based startups, Startup.com is a 2001 documentary that illustrates the rise and fall of a dot com venture during the 90s internet bubble. The movie is about two friends who after brainstorming a potential million dollar venture idea, failed to succeed due to their lack of understanding of the business world and handling competition.
For current generation of young entrepreneurs, this documentary is full of powerful lessons on how they should utilize the available resources efficiently and keep a balance between their personal & professional life.
Pirates of the Silicon Valley (1999)
This 1999 television movie is based on the lives of Steve Jobs & Bill Gates, their rivalry, failures, success, and how these two visionaries built their technology empires in 1980s in their different styles. The most inspiring part of the movie is when a twenty year old Steve Jobs, who believed in his dreams, took the courage of challenging IBM, an established corporation, and succeeded.
The movie is an ideal specimen that tells us how our belief in our dreams can motivate us to do great things and bring change in the world.
Wolf of the Wall Street (2013)
Yet another masterpiece by Martin Scorsese, Wolf of the Wall Street drafts the life of renowned American motivational speaker & former stock broker Jordan Belfort portrayed by Leonardo DiCaprio. The movie shows how Jordan rises up in his career as a stockbroker and how his lust for money, power and fame ultimately leads to his downfall.
Wolf of the Wall Street teaches a good lesson on how lack of discipline and disrespect to law can jeopardize a business. Another major lesson for entrepreneurs in the movie is how they should keep their employees motivated to achieve goals.
Flash of Genius (2008)
Flash of Genius is based on the soul-wrenching life story of Robert Kearns (portrayed by Greg Kinnear) who invented intermittent windshield wiper in early 1960s but didn’t get credit for it when it was first introduced by Ford during their 1967/68 Mustang launch. To get what he rightfully deserved, Robert Kearns went through personal and family crisis, but finally won the credit for the idea and some $10 million settlement.
This 2008 movie tells us how the value of an original idea is immense, as well as inspires us to fight for what is rightfully ours.
The Godfather (1972)
Without this iconic movie, this list would be incomplete. Based on the bestselling crime novel by Mario Puzo, the movie primarily focuses on the life of Vito & Michael Corleone (father-son duo portrayed by Marlon Brando and Al Pacino) and how they have to make tough decisions to keep their family business at the top and at the same time family members together.
The Godfather trilogy is full of inspiration for not just entrepreneurs but for anyone in general. Recommendation for entrepreneurs; whatever advises Vito gives to Michael, learn them by heart.
All the movies listed here are not only inspiring but also the result of some great direction & cinematography. So, watch them to get inspired and have a great time besides.
There are definitely many more movies that can be great source of inspiration for entrepreneurs. If you can think of more names, mention them in the comment section so that other readers get to know about them as well.